New York-based Extell Development is, according to this recent WSJ article, in the midst of trying to build a $2 billion full-service ski and snowboard resort near Park City, Utah. It would be the first new resort in the United States in about four decades. These things are, clearly, difficult to get approved, and the fundamentals are, arguably, not all that great. In the early 1990s, the US had about 546 ski and snowboard resorts across the country. As of the 2018-2019 season that number had dropped to 476, according to the WSJ. People are skiing less than they used it, it would seem.
To be a bit more precise on its location, the proposed resort, which is currently called Mayflower Mountain Resort, is to be located next to Deer Valley Resort. And there’s even a plan floating around to possibly merge the two resorts. That’s apparently what the county planners want. I’m not all that familiar with Deer Valley because they don’t allow my kind there (snowboarders). But it’s an exclusive resort with a country-club kind of feel (or so I’m told). So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the proposed merger doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of traction with the patrons of Deer Valley.
But here’s the interesting thing about the Mayflower site. It’s generally controlled (to what extent, I don’t exactly know) by an entity called The Military Installation Development Authority. And this entity has the power to do things like issue bonds and grant certain land-use approvals. This means that there may be an angle to streamline the approvals process (i.e. make this project actually feasible) and to leverage things like tax increment financing (TIF) in order to fund the project.
Supposedly a new mountain resort has been on the books for this site for some 30 years. Could now finally be the time? If they allow my kind, you can count me in.